IDP Injury Analysis Halfway Through the Season

Kyle Trimble

We are halfway through the NFL season and defensive stars continue to drop left and right. Some for several weeks, some for the season. These injuries not only have a major impact on their team, but on fantasy rosters each and every week. Having the full injury details can allow you to make the best decisions possible regarding roster management to win your league.

The weekly injury roundup will be posted on Wednesdays to discuss injuries that just occurred. I would also encourage you to tune in to the DLF YouTube channel (make sure to subscribe!) to tune in to helpful content throughout the week.

The IDP injury analysis is a monthly installment highlighting the biggest injuries around the NFL.

Defensive injuries to monitor

Vita Vea, DT TB

Injury: Pectoral, foot, groin

Return to play: Week nine

Vea has been battling injuries all year working through a pectoral strain suffered in week two followed by a foot injury suffered in week six. Playing through both injuries, Vea suffered a groin strain in week seven that kept him out of the loss to the Bills in week eight. With a minibye before week nine, Vea has the opportunity to rest, but is not up to his standard of play this year. Ranked 165 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, Vea could be had cheap if you need depth. Otherwise, go find a healthier alternative.

Willie Gay, LB KC

Injury: Tailbone

Return to play: Week 9

Gay injured his tailbone and was unable to return in the week eight loss to the Denver Broncos. Tailbone injuries are fairly uncommon and are more of a pain issue. He could realistically play in week nine if he can get in a practice session later this week. With teammate Nick Bolton out for the foreseeable future, Gay should see an uptick in opportunities. Ranked 141 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, he’s worth picking up if you haven’t already.

Jalen Carter, DT PHI

Injury: Back

Return to play: Week 9

Carter suffered a back injury in Sunday’s win over the Washington Commanders, requiring an MRI on Monday. Head coach Nick Sirianni noted that he was improving daily and sources indicate that he could suit up in week nine against the Dallas Cowboys. I would expect that Carter makes every effort to play, especially with the bye week coming up in week ten. Back injuries can be a concern for the Eagles as teammate Fletcher Cox had to receive an epidural to manage his complaints. Hopefully Carter can avoid the same pitfalls. Ranked 31 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, Carter has been on a tear this season and should not be sat unless he is on injured reserve.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S PIT

Injury: Hamstring strain

Return to play: Week 10-11

Fitzpatrick suffered a hamstring strain in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He walked off under his own power and did not return. He could come back as soon as week 10 due to the Steelers mini bye, but may benefit from extra time off to return in week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. Ranked 51 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, Fitzpatrick will be a short-term loss but don’t think about moving on from him anytime soon.

Tremaine Edmunds, LB CHI

Injury: Right knee

Return to play: Week 11-12

Edmunds appeared to hyperextend his right knee when he had a body fly into his knee during the third quarter as bodies piled up on Sunday. Though he avoided a season-ending injury, it’s likely he suffered a bone bruise which could keep him out for several weeks. Ranked 37 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, Edmunds shouldn’t be kept out long but if he’s available, grab him for the stretch run.

Returning from IR

Cameron Heyward, DT PIT

Injury: Core muscle repair

Return to play: Week 10-11

Heyward has been out since suffering a torn adductor in week one after chasing down 49ers QB Brock Purdy. He underwent surgery and has been on injured reserve since then. He opened his practice window just prior to week eight and could return as soon as week 11 or even before. He may need a game or two to get back into the swing of things, but play does not drop off following a core muscle repair. Ranked 129 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, he is a steal right now coming off injury.

Jalen Ramsey, CB MIA

Injury: Left meniscus repair

Return to play: Week eight

Ramsey shocked the NFL community when he returned in week eight, at least a full month ahead of the predicted scheduled December return. Reports indicated that he tore the outer rim of the meniscus which heals better than other areas. He was able to get it repaired and return to rehab sooner than if it was a tear elsewhere. He will take several games to get back to a consistent level of play, but he is currently ranked 180 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings. Expect that ranking to increase in the months of November and December which means he should be taken now.

On Injured Reserve

Matt Milano, LB BUF

Injury: Right knee fracture

Return to play: Week 17-18

Milano suffered a brutal right knee injury that resulted in at least a fracture and potentially some ligament damage after a collision against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week five. The team has been vague on the specifics, but it’s believed that he suffered a tibial plateau fracture that required surgery. While it is an aggressive timeline for Milano to return, there are prior cases that have returned that quickly. Ranked 93 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, his return may be too late to save your regular season.

Nick Bolton, LB KC

Injury: Left dislocated wrist

Return to play: Week 15-16

Bolton suffered a dislocated wrist while trying to complete a tackle in the fourth quarter against the Chargers in week six. He was placed on injured reserve and underwent surgery and is expected to miss two months. Best case scenario, he returns in week 15-16 with a club or cast on the area and has difficulty wrapping up his tackles. Despite being the number eight overall player in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, losing Bolton for this amount of time sinks any impact he can have on your fantasy team.

Jeremy Chinn, S CAR

Injury: Quadriceps strain 103

Return to Play: lWeek 12-13

Chinn suffered a quadriceps strain against the Miami Dolphins in week six. Fortunately, the injury did not require surgery but was expected to keep him out for at least six weeks. Considering how the Panthers season has been, he may not be in a rush to return. Despite being ranked 103 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, I wouldn’t hold out hope he returns for your fantasy team.

David Ojabo, DE BAL

Injury: Ankle/knee

Return to play: TBD

Ojabo originally suffered ankle and knee injuries in week three that kept him out of action until the Ravens placed him on injured reserve on September 30. Reports indicated that he does not require surgery but that he may not come back this season. A former second-round pick who missed most of last season as he recovered from his Achilles tear during his Pro Day, he has appeared in only five career games. Despite being ranked 177 in the DLF IDP consensus rankings, he’s not worth touching.

Emmanuel Moseley, CB DET

Injury: Right ACL tear

Return to play: 2024

Mosley sustained a right ACL tear in week five, a year to the date that he tore his left ACL when he was with the 49ers.

Al Woods, DT NYJ

Injury: Achilles tear

Return to play: 2024

Woods tore his Achilles in a week eight win over the New York Giants and is done for the 2023 season.

Grady Jarrett, DT ATL

Injury: ACL tear

Return to play: 2024

Jarrett suffered an ACL tear against the Tennessee Titans in week eight and will go on injured reserve.

kyle trimble